Nebraska 4-H: 5 underrated, practical projects

Nebraska 4-H: 5 underrated, practical projects

We all know about the 4-H livestock, cooking and sewing projects. But with nearly 50 projects to choose from, there are likely some you aren’t familiar with. These five often-overlooked projects offer real-world skills and unique experiences.

1. Special plant science projects

The Special Garden Project and Special Agronomy Project offer unique introductions to plant science. Members are given seeds and guided through growing and harvesting. If all goes well, members can exhibit a cut flower or harvested vegetable. Otherwise, they can share their experience through a poster, story or video. Even with all these options, there were only 38 exhibits at the 2023 Nebraska State Fair.

2. Financial (consumer education) projects

Financial projects may sound boring, but they can pay dividends. Young people learn money management by creating income inventories, tracking expenses or completing money personality profiles. For all their value, only 38 financial exhibits were entered at this year’s State Fair.

3. Safety projects

With 53 exhibits at the State Fair, the safety project can be easily overlooked. The practical benefits are not. Fair exhibits include items every family should have, like first aid kits, disaster kits, and home fire safety plans.

4. Citizenship projects

Citizenship projects help youth become well-informed citizens and active community members. Fair exhibits allow members to document a community service activity, make a care package or donate a Quilt of Valor to a veteran. Despite their meaningful impact, there were 83 citizenship State Fair entries this year.

5. Veterinary science projects

Veterinary science projects are great for those who love animals, whether they own one or not! Despite this, there were less than 100 entries at this year’s State Fair. Members are challenged to research an animal care, health or safety issue. Fair exhibits allow youth to present their learning through a poster, notebook or display.

While they tend to see low participation numbers, these projects offer practical benefits and unique opportunities. They might just spark a lifelong passion!